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Everyone in Ireland should take the opportunity today to celebrate the happiness and love an older person has brought to their lives on the United Nations International Day of Older Persons, according to Sage Advocacy.

Whether it is much loved parents, grandparents, older relatives or an older member of your community Sage Advocacy is asking people to mark the 30th anniversary of the United Nations International Day of Older Persons on October,1, 2020, by remembering a special moment they have shared with an older person.

Sarah Lennon, chief executive of Sage Advocacy, said: “Every single one of us has been impacted by Covid-19 but some people in our older communities, particularly those living in nursing homes, have had and continue to have to cope every day with life-changing restrictions.

“We all have a role to play in stopping the spread of Covid-19 but older people must also be given the same chance as everyone else to enjoy living their lives in the current circumstances. Everyone, regardless of their age, has to find a way to adapt to this new way of living”.

One 86 year old who is looking forward to the next, exciting chapter in her life is County Kildare based Helen Culpan.

Bibiana Savin, Sage Advocacy’s Regional Coordinator, Dublin South-West & Kildare, explained why: “Helen had lived in private rented accommodation in County Kildare for 15 years but at the age of 85 she received a notice, completely out of the blue, to leave. She didn’t want to leave because she had her own network of friends and enjoyed living where she did.

“She got in contact with Sage Advocacy because she was very worried about her future and to see if we could help her find a new place to live. I was determined that Helen would get a home that she loved just as much as her old one.

“It took 310 days from the day she received her notice to quit to secure her a new home, but working closely with a lot of different people, agencies and organisations; including our Sage Advocacy representative John Morris, Councillor Susan Doyle, Kildare County Council staff and with the support of Older Voices Kildare, we have all been able to make sure that Helen can move in to her new home this week, without any worries or concerns.’’

Helen said that she’s now looking forward to getting all her boxes unpacked “with the help of my lovely carers” making a cup of tea and getting to know her new garden.

“I never expected at my age that I would have to pack up all my belongings into boxes and move, it’s not what you want to do at 86 years of age and only for Sage Advocacy and all of the help I have received I don’t know what I would have done.

“I’ll tell you one thing, I don’t plan to do it again – ever. But my new home is marvellous, it’s a lovely place and if it wasn’t for Covid-19 I might even have had a little house party to celebrate moving in. I won’t now, but may be next Summer when this is all over, please God and I’m sitting in the garden in the good weather I’ll think about it.

“It’s given me great peace of mind to get the keys to my new house and I’m just looking forward now to starting all over again, it’s marvellous.”



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